Recap: Duke 66 — UConn 56

Recap: Duke (10-0) held off UConn (4-4) 66-56 at the Izod Center on Thursday night in East Rutherford, New Jersey.



Need to know: UConn dropped to 4-4 on the season as its offense struggled in a loss to Duke.

Duke’s Tyus Jones scored 21 points and Amile Jefferson added 11 points and 13 rebounds as all five starters scored in double figures for the Blue Devils.

The Jahlil Okafor (12 points, 10 rebounds) vs. Amida Brimah game never really materialized. Brimah got a foul called in the first minute of the game and barely played. Brimah, coming off a 40 point game, had zero points, 1 shot, 1 rebound, 2 blocks and five fouls.

UConn shot 42.6 percent from the floor, but was 3 of 13 from 3-point range and 7 of 13 from the free throw line. Duke held a 25-7 edge from the line (34-13 edge in attempts), the difference from the game. UConn made 23 of 54 baskets, Duke 17 of 48.

Ryan Boatright had another terrific game with 22 points. Kentan Facey added 14 and Daniel Hamilton 10.


Links: Box score 


Next up: UConn plays Columbia on Dec. 22 at the Webster Bank Arena.

UConn, Duke have some history

UConn and Duke have played 9 times all-time, including two games from before 1990.

The Hartford Courant has a look back at each game of the series here. H/T to the Courant for jogging my memory.

Here are some of the more memorable and impactful games of the two top programs in college basketball the last 30 years.

1990 Elite 8

A game after The Shot, Christian Laetener ended UConn’s Dream Season. If only Tate George kept the ball in bounds…

1991 Sweet 16

UConn had no business being in this game as Duke was set to go and upset UNLV in one of the most famous games in NCAA history. This game was known as the Rod Sellers bounces Christian Laettner’s head on the floor game. People in CT cheered.  Sellers was suspended from an NCAA game the following year. Yeah, made perfect sense.

1999 National Championship

UConn had beaten Duke in a meaningless December game years before, but this is the first time the Huskies really broke through against Duke. Vaunted No. 1 Duke couldn’t handle Richard Hamilton and the No. 2 Huskies in the national championship game and UConn went on to their first, of now four, national championships.  Ricky Moore and Kevin Freeman started that game. Trajan Langdon tripping over himself in the final seconds is the lasting moment. Duke’s still bitter about that one as the Elton Brand led Devils can’t get over it (Dave Borges/NH Register). Final score, 77-74.

2004 Final Four

This one was one of my favorites. I was at the women’s final four in New Orleans as this was the first of the Dual National Championships. Jim Calhoun had the best team, by far, and the Hall of Fame coach showed such discipline keeping Emeka Okafor on the bench with two fouls for the final 15 minutes of the first half. Calhoun did not give in to what Duke was doing and allowed his all-american to come have a full slate of fouls for the second half. The officiating early on in that Duke-UConn game was legendary. It was at the height of Duke’s perceived officiating advantage and Okafor got two quick, and questionable foul calls.  Calhoun went nuts, but stayed disciplined. Second half? Okafor couldn’t get a foul called against him and manhandled Duke late in the game. The officials were petrified to call a foul late in the game. UConn goes in a 12-3 run, wins 78-77, and then destroys Georgia Tech for the national title.

Enjoy.

Preview: UConn vs. No. 2 Duke. 8 p.m.

Ryan Boatright and the Huskies will take on Duke on Thursday at the Izod Center.

Ryan Boatright and the Huskies will take on Duke on Thursday at the Izod Center.

UConn (4-3) could desperately use an early season marquee win and will get a chance tonight as it faces No. 2 Duke at the Izod Center, Duke’s Northeastern home for basketball where it is 20-1 all-time.  Game time is 8:00 p.m. and will be on ESPN.

John F. Silver

UConn is 4-3, but is literally 5 seconds — 2 last second jumpers — from being 6-1 and ranked facing Duke. The Huskies rebounded for three straight losses to rout Coppin State on Sunday. Head coach Kevin Ollie likes the speed and pace the Huskies were playing at and would like to see an uptempo game against Duke, which is 9-0 to begin the season. UConn’s RPI right now is 83, and that would put them out of the NCAAs. That will improve with victories, but a win over a Top 5 program will be a statement with few chances left this season for this type of victory.

The game will be a challenge for the Huskies, who will have to deal with Jahlil Okafor (6-11, 270-pounds) inside and his 18 points a game. The Blue Devils have a sharpshooter in Quinn Cook, and one of the top point guards in the nation in freshman Tyus Jones, who had 22 points in a win over Wisconsin to begin the season. Duke shoots it well from 3-point range (38.2 percent) and have one of the premier big men in the nation.  Duke is averaging 80.7 points per game and shoots it at nearly a 54 percent clip.

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UConn men: Okafor, Brimah in the spotlight

Dec 14, 2014; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies center Amida Brimah (35) dunks against Coppin State Eagles forward Arnold Fripp (3) in the second half at XL Center. UConn defeated Coppin State 106-85. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 14, 2014; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies center Amida Brimah (35) dunks against Coppin State Eagles forward Arnold Fripp (3) in the second half at XL Center. UConn defeated Coppin State 106-85. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

John F. Silver

Amida Brimah is coming off the game of his career.

UConn’s sophomore center was 13 of 13 from the floor — mostly dunks — and 13 of 16 from the free-throw line in a 40 point, 12 rebound effort against Coppin State. 

The game raised some eye brows nationwide. A 7-foot shot-blocker who scores 40 points? It’s hard not to notice.

If Brimah is going to get the rest of the nation’s jaw to drop he has a chance on Thursday night.

The Huskies play No. 2 Duke at the Izod Center in the Meadowlands and with it Duke center Jahil Okafor.

Okafor went for 25 points and 20 rebounds on Monday against Elon.

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UConn men: Brimah’s big day

Amidah Brimah Dunks home two of his career-high 40 points against Coppin State on Sunday.  Credit: USA TODAY.

Amidah Brimah Dunks home two of his career-high 40 points against Coppin State on Sunday. Credit: USA TODAY.

John F. Silver

HARTFORD, Conn. — Too much can be made from one game. I understand that.  

It’s easy to dismiss what Amida Brimah did against Coppin State on Sunday.

He had 40 points, about 10 dunks, and was 13 of 13 from the floor. Coppin State was 1-8 coming in, now 1-9 after a 106-85 loss.

Brimah’s 40 points and 12 rebounds weren’t against a team like Duke, which the Huskies will play on Thursday.

OK. That’s the caveat. It was against Coppin State. So what? It was only the 11th 40 point game in UConn history. The Huskies have played a lot of bad teams over the years. Not many have had 40 point games.

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Recap: UConn 106 – Coppin State 85

Recap: UConn snapped a three-game losing streak with an 106-85 win over Coppin State on Sunday afternoon at the XL Center in Hartford.



Need to Know: Amidah Brimah exploded for a career-high 40 points, 13 of 13 from the floor — about 10 of them dunks — and 14 of 16 from the line.

The Huskies pushed the pace after scoring 54 and 44 in losses to Texas and Yale as it pressured full-court. Daniel Hamilton added 11 points and 11 assists for the Huskies. Ryan Boatright added 22 points for the Huskies.

The Huskies took 67 shots, scored 100 plus points and shot 56 percent from the floor.


Links: Box score | Recap


Next up: The Huskies take a big step up in class on Thursday when it plays Duke at the Meadowlands on Thursday night at 8 p.m.


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Preview: Coppin State (1-8) at UConn (3-3)

Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Ryan Boatright (11) makes the basket against Bryant University Bulldogs guard Hunter Ware (1) during the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Uconn defeated Bryant 66-53. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sport

Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Ryan Boatright (11) makes the basket against Bryant University Bulldogs guard Hunter Ware (1) during the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Uconn defeated Bryant 66-53. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sport

UConn resumes action after exams break hosting Coppin State today at 4 p.m. on SNY at the XL Center

John F. Silver

UConn is 3-3, has lost three straight and is in desperate need of a win. Even with Duke looming on Thursday in New Jersey, it’s hard to believe the Huskies would look past Coppin State today.

Kevin Ollie had the sentiment of the team on Friday:

“We’ve got to stop the bleeding,” Ollie said. ” If it was a YMCA team coming here, we’ve got our antennae up. We’re not looking at their record or anything, it’s a game we’ve got to look within, work on the things we’ve been working on.”

Here’s Ryan Boatright on not overlooking Coppin State.

“We just lost to Yale,” Boatright said. “You’ve got to go into every game like it is Duke. We’ve got to get a win, we’ve got to get back on the winning side of things. Dropping four would be devastating. It’s a must-win for us.”

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